July 26, 2011

Company metrics you have to disclose

IT buyers and other industry observers like to know about a company’s or product’s financial heft, for at least two reasons:

People further like to know how much success a product has had — both for social proof and also as a clue to the product’s financial status.

Indeed, such social proof is a key aspect of one version of the layered messaging model.

And if you don’t disclose information in line with people’s minimum expectations, they:

Hence, for example, my recent tweak of McObject, for not being willing to quickly run through basics such as:

Why do people insist on knowing the number of employees, especially developers? Well, it’s a reasonable proxy for level of development effort (give or take outsourcing and the like). What’s more, it can’t really be kept secret, except at companies so weak that they aren’t interviewing anybody for new staff positions. Hence it’s something routinely disclosed, even at companies that wouldn’t dream of being forthright about actual revenues and products. And so companies that don’t disclose headcount become suspiciously-regarded outliers.

The other metric that the community pretty much forces out of vendors is customer count. DATAllegro managed to fool people into thinking they had more customers than they did, and parlayed that all the way into an expensive Microsoft takeover (that hasn’t exactly worked out well for the buyer). But as a general rule, vendors are pretty forthright about customer success if pushed, with my recent post on columnar analytic DBMS customer metrics being an illustrative example.


24 Responses to “Company metrics you have to disclose”

  1. How to pitch me | Strategic Messaging on July 26th, 2011 7:35 am

    […] Company metrics you have to disclose […]

  2. Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — concepts | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 5th, 2013 8:25 am

    […] do I, Gartner thinks a vendor’s business and financial strength are important. But Gartner overdoes the matter, drilling down into picky issues it can’t hope to judge, […]

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